By RJ Ciancio
Director of NAL Coverage
The Bismarck Bucks renewed the Duel of Dakotas when they hosted the Sioux Falls Storm in a what could best be described as one of of the world’s largest hunting expeditions.
The Bismarck defense came out with a purpose as they were able to hold the high-powered Sioux Falls offense was held to a field goal.
Trailing by three the Bismarck came out looking for a response. What fans got a miserable fourth down conversion attempt, giving the Storm an edge.
Sioux Falls had a sure touchdown broken up by Joe Blount on the first play of the drive. Lorenzo Brown flashed his versatility by running twice on the drive with the latter rush resulting in a Storm Touchdown. With the extra point the storm had earned a two score lead.
Brandon Clark set up the Bucks by returning the ball to the Storm 24. Quarterback John Gibbs showed his quick thinking multiple times on the drive but forgot to use his arms correctly throwing a pick-six. With the extra point the Bucks now trailed the Storm by 17.
After a muffed kick the Bucks attempted to get the ball out of the endzone. However, it would have been better to take the rouge as the return man fumbled the ball and with pure instinct the Storm fell onto the ball for another touchdown. After the extra point split the uprights the Bucks trailed by 24. The next Bismark drive was abasimal, ending in another turnover on downs.
The next Storm drive had a rare unsportsmanlike conduct penalty sighting as they were backed up 15 yards. Lorenzo Brown reminded the Bucks defense why he’s one of the Indoor Football League’s (IFL) elite. Even his tipped passes are good the receive catches them for easy touchdowns. All of a sudden the Storm held 31-zero lead.
The Bucks were handed a gift via an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, giving them great field position. Bismarck pulled John Gibbs and Homer Causey took the reigns. The Storm assisted Bismark with a pass interference call. The Bucks finally got on the bored with a field goal. Now they only trailed by 28.
The Storm started the drive around the Bismarck 13. A young buck showed how next the team is to the IFL by giving up an illegal defense penalty. On first and goal Sioux Falls run the ball for an east touchdown. With another extra point the Storm held a 38-three lead.
Homer Causey ran like a madman for a first own and some momentum to kickstart the drive. Nobody decided to tend to the fire as the Bucks drive fizzled out, ending with a missed field goal.
Sioux Falls began to wiggle their way down the field, making it more uncomfortable for the Bucks faithful to watch. Lorenzo Brown found Dameon Ford for in a perfect strike for a touchdown. The kicking game remained automatic as the extra point made it 45-three.
The Bucks slowly began developing the passing game as they were able to draw the Storm offsides before a field goal attempt. However, that penalty didn’t help since the kicker hooked his attempt to the left to end the first half.
The Bucks came out of the woods returning the opening kick for a touchdown. With the extra point making it 10-45.However, he Storm responded quickly as Lorenzo Brown flashed his brilliance by tossing up a 37 yard strike for a touchdown. With the extra point the Storm brought the score to 52-10.
The Bucks got to work on the unenviable task of trudging back from 42 down. Bismarck relied on short passes and runs to get them out of the end zone’s shadow. The Bucks plan worked as they cracked a large run for almost 20 yards. Bismark seemed to have found a plan until a snap went over the quarterback's head losing a massive amount of field position. The Bucks were faced with dilemma on fourth and goal, take the three points and know the long drive helped shrink the lead or roll the dice. Bismarck went with the latter option and cam up inches short, turing the ball over on downs, wasting a time-consuming drive.
Lorenzo Brown scrambled out of the endzone giving the Storm some breathing room. An over the wall catch helped propel the drive deep into Bismark territory. The Storm finally slipped up as a Lorenzo Brown pass was intercepted in the endzone.
John Gibbs started the drive strong with a fifteen yard pass over the middle. Even though the offensive line may have had a mistake, Gibbs didn’t care throwing a dime. However the drive ended in ugly fashion was the Storm grabbed an interception in the endzone.
The Storm went to the ground game for support before returning to the passing game with little success. A 56-yard field goal attempt was thwarted by something all indoor kickers can’t stand, a low scoreboard.
Bismarck had a chance to gain some momentum but the target receiver was overshot. However, The Buck kept kicking despite the lopsided score. The ground game was easily stopped as the Bucks resorted to more short passes. A fumble nearly ended the drive early but given a second chance Bismarck worked their way to the two of Sioux Falls. A short pass was batted down in the endzone making it fourth and two. A penalty backed the Bucks up five more yards, but this didn't deter them from going for it again is Homer Cousy ran in for the score. Causey ran for the two point conversion making it 52-18.
A meaningless onside kick was recovered by the Storm giving them good field position. The team continued the ground attack as they ran out clock, ending the game 52-18 with a Storm victory. Sioux Falls came into the the forest and shot the Bucks like Bambi’s mother.